Tokyo Tech News

Special Engineering Panel Discussion "Let's talk about your future in the age of Science and Technology"


Published: November 20, 2012

On Tuesday, October 30, 2012, Tokyo Tech hosted a panel discussion forum titled Let's Talk about Your Future in the Age of Science and Technology inviting US Ambassador John Roos and Mr. Yasuchika Hasegawa, Chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives. The Kuramae Hall at the Tokyo Tech Front was nearly standing room only as students, graduate students, faculty and staff filled the seats.

Dean of School of Engineering Kikuo Kishimoto opened the event with greetings and was followed by Tokyo Tech President Yoshinao Mishima who gave the welcome address, explaining Tokyo Tech's various student exchange programs for education and research with Asian, European and North American leading science and technology universities. Noting that Tokyo Tech accepts more exchange students than it sends abroad, President Mishima urged Tokyo Tech students to take advantage of these opportunities to expose themselves to a global environment and become global leaders.

Next Mr. Hasegawa gave a slide presentation in which he spoke about the theme of the panel discussion. After giving a brief history of the earth and various forms of life, he stressed that only humans have the ability to set, pursue and achieve goals. He showed a slide depicting the following percentages: 70% Effort, 20% Luck and 10% Talent. Quoting Louis Pasteur, who once stated "Chance favors the prepared mind...," Mr. Hasegawa stressed that each student here must take advantage of the percentages shown on this slide and continuously work hard, so that when luck comes along, they would be prepared to seize it.

With a predicted world population of 10 billion in the year 2085, Mr. Hasegawa noted that humankind will only be able to feed and provide energy to everyone through science and technology originating from leaders, such as the students here now. Emerging and developing countries will be the driving force of economic development with this drastic increase in population. However, Tokyo Tech students should prepare themselves to become global leaders in solving these pressing issues. "Take the necessary risks now while you are young," he urged. Mr. Hasegawa stressed that based on his career experiences, English is needed in order to contribute globally, along with talents and knowledge. He concluded by saying, "The world is waiting for you. Everyone in the world is waiting for you."

Ambassador Roos recounted his 25 years spent in Silicon Valley. Apple, Google, and YouTube were all started by young people who wanted to change the world. He stressed that, "You won't always succeed. As a matter of fact...75-80% of the time you will not succeed. However, the word 'fail' is not used in Silicon Valley. Why, because 'not succeeding' is a learning experience and it makes you stronger for the future." Echoing Mr. Hasegawa's comments, Ambassador Roos told Tokyo Tech students that they have complete control over hard work. His advice was threefold: to work hard, to take risks and to dream big. Part of this involves learning English well and studying abroad to gain a global perspective. This is necessary as the world is becoming flatter and borders mean less. He concluded, "If you do these three things, you will position yourself to achieve big things for yourself, your country and the world."

After the presentations by Mr. Hasegawa and Ambassador Roos, Professor Jeffrey Cross led a panel discussion in which students and faculty could ask questions to both panel members in either Japanese or English. When the Q & A session was over, gifts were presented to the speakers.

After the event concluded, there was a photo opportunity for the students with Ambassador Roos.